Occasionally an applicant may determine that the public welfare would not be best served by restoring a damaged facility or its function to the pre-disaster design. This usually occurs when the service provided by the facility is no longer needed, although the facility was still in use at the time of the disaster. Under these circumstances, the applicant may apply to FEMA to use the eligible funds for an Alternate Project.
Possible alternate projects include:
Repair or expansion of other public facilities
Construction of new public facilities
Purchase of capital equipment
Funding of hazard mitigation measures in the area affected by the disaster
The alternate project option may be proposed for both small and large projects, but only for permanent restoration projects located within the declared disaster area. All requests for alternate projects must be made within 12 months of the kickoff meeting and approved by FEMA prior to construction.
Alternate projects are eligible for 75 percent of the approved Federal share of the estimated eligible costs associated with repairing the damaged facility to its pre-disaster design, or the actual costs of completing the alternate project, whichever is less. The share of the costs may be increased to 90 percent for publicly owned facilities where unstable soils are present at the site of the damaged facility. This exception does not apply to private nonprofit facilities.
The proposed alternate project may not be located in the regulatory floodway and will have to be insured if located in the 100-year floodplain. Funding may not be used for operating costs or to meet the State or local share requirement on other public assistance projects or projects that utilize other Federal grants. 406 hazard mitigation funds cannot be applied to an alternate project. An environmental assessment will be performed for all alternate projects.